Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"The Salvation Army Saved My Life"

How the Salvation Army Made a Difference to a former multi-millionaire.

 I first heard Lyle's personal story at a United Way tour through the Center of Hope; I was astonished by his story of loss, recovery and hope and wanted to share it with you.

Lyle Lawrence has a strong handshake, makes good eye contact & talks easily when you meet him. He is an experienced businessman & salesperson, and currently, a Center of Hope resident. Although Lyle once retired at the age of 36 with a net worth of 3.5 million dollars, he now shares a room with a fellow homeless substance abuser in recovery. How did he get here? Alcoholism. 

Lyle credit’s the Salvation Army with saving his life. Although he developed alcoholism late in life, it didn’t take him long after his retirement at the age of 36 to drink, gamble and smoke his savings away. He was broke by 47. And sleeping in his car shortly thereafter.   

But he had further to fall.

Over the next few years, Lyle’s drinking grew worse, as his life spiraled out of control. He became a “suicide drinker”—he would drink continuously, for 24 hours or more. He went to the ER at least 3 different times—he can’t remember the exact count—for alcohol poisoning.  In 2004, Lyle entered the Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), worked a 12 step program and stayed sober for 6 years. 

After a frightening relapse in 2010 and another stint at the ARC, Lyle now lives at the Center of Hope and is actively participating in Project Able, the Center of Hope’s  job placement and life skills program. Lyle says that he is grateful for the opportunity to “rebuild himself” and for the accountability of the other men in the program. He credits the Center of Hope community & fellowship and faith in Jesus Christ with keeping him from giving up hope. 

Thanks for sharing your story, Lyle. You are an inspiration to everyone who meets you. 



  1. Poor old Lyle. Still spewing that millionaire story, leaving all those victims in his path. Sickening.

  2. Oh and there is an open bench warrant for Lyle in Tulsa. What an inspiration!